This I Believe

Alexandra - Portland, Maine
Entered on November 28, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: fear
  • Top 100 Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

The Awakening

There are times in our lives when we realize how vulnerable we really are as humans. Our emotions take hold of our bodies and we react in ways we never thought we could. Our worst fears manifest themselves in the most inappropriate ways and we impose these fears onto people we care about. Not intentionally but simply because we are so terrified and we don’t want to feel it alone. We look up and realize that we’ve dug ourselves into a hole so deep, and we panic. There’s nothing left to do but to keep on digging. Perhaps we can make it to the other side. But alas, no. We are lost. In the darkness. We are so deep that we can’t even see the light coming from the top anymore…

Then we wake up. We are back to where we started, and nothing has changed. But the reality of our fears is still there. Alive inside us. They say that in life we continue to repeat old patterns of behavior until we learn our lesson and understand what the nature of our behavior is, what the nature of our fear is.

What am I afraid of? I’m terrified of being abandoned. And the moment I feel someone within my reach, I panic. And it’s too late. My fear overcomes me and I’ve started digging. And I dig until they are gone. Far from my reach. And I’m alone again. Lost in the darkness…

And then I wake up. I’m back to where I’ve started and my fears are all too clearly rising up in front of me. Still alive inside of me. Why haven’t I learned my lesson? What is the nature of my fear? The fear of not knowing is almost worse than the fear itself.

But what if my fears were just an illusion? What if they didn’t exist and were just a fabrication of my own mind? Then I would realize that my fears have nothing to do with reality. I would wake up one day on a new path in life. No fears around me or inside of me. Gone. The sun shines and fog vanishes. And the moment someone is within my reach, I smile. And I get up and walk down my new path in life. Maybe they’ll follow, maybe they won’t. But it doesn’t matter. I’m not afraid of being alone… This I believe.